Personal fashion style?
Or, to put it more imaginatively, I prefer to call it a personal uniform. What is a personal style? For me, clothing isn’t meant to showcase one’s personality or individuality. When using clothing to mold an image or persona, I find it unnecessary and even somewhat perilous. It opens the door for external judgments to sway one’s self-esteem based on the attire they choose. Moreover, everyone’s perception of things, events, or people is unique, shaped by their individual experiences. So, it’s certain that no one can fully control the image others hold of them based on their clothing choices. And why bother? I like to define personal style as simply wearing clothes that make you feel truly comfortable as yourself (while still considering cultural norms). In those moments, you’re completely self-assured and relaxed. You don’t worry about others’ opinions or the current fashion trends. What matters is that you get to wear something you genuinely love every day. It makes you feel light and peaceful.
Personal Experience To be honest, I’ve always been confident about my personal aesthetics, how to coordinate outfits, and select clothing that suits my body shape. But at some point, I became obsessed with it. First, there was the feeling of opening my wardrobe and ‘having nothing to wear,’ a daily struggle I’m sure most women can relate to. Why did I have a mountain of clothes and still felt like I had nothing to wear? Perhaps too many choices led to a lack of choice. I used to pride myself on never repeating the same outfit within a week, owning countless clothes, some bought on sale, some bought due to trends. Eventually, I spent thirty minutes just to put on my favorite dress, hesitating because I had worn it so many times already! I used to spend most of my time browsing online stores, getting trapped in an endless cycle of browsing, clicking on ads, and making purchases. It was a never-ending loop, and I was exhausted. While I had confidence in my ability to style outfits at home, I felt insecure when I stepped outside. Was I okay? Did I fit in with this environment? My mind was preoccupied, leaving no room for me to truly experience life. A sense of guilt, perhaps something many people have experienced, arose when clearing out a substantial number of clothes each season. Selling clothes felt cumbersome and unattractive, and I wasn’t sure who would buy them. Giving them away to charity seemed like a better option, but still, it was a circumstance. Some items, I wasn’t sure if I should keep or discard. They took up a significant portion of my closet and even more of my morning decision-making time. That’s it. It’s not just about reducing a concern and feeling lighter. Since becoming more aware of my personal wardrobe, I’ve eliminated a significant amount of waste. Waste of resources in constantly acquiring and discarding clothing, waste of space (you might think they don’t take up much space, but surely, you need a couple of closets, shoe cabinets, and storage boxes), waste of money, of course, and waste of time and effort.
The Profound Impact of Personal Style
While some may perceive fashion as superficial or frivolous, your personal style can wield a remarkable influence in various aspects of your life:
1. Elevated Confidence:When you don attire that makes you feel comfortable and confident, your self-esteem skyrockets. You radiate confidence, which can have a transformative effect on your personal and professional life.
2. Time and Energy Savings: A well-curated wardrobe filled with cherished pieces translates to less time spent pondering over what to wear each morning. It streamlines your daily routine, leaving you with more time and energy for other pursuits.
3. Empowered Self-Expression: Your clothing choices become a potent medium for self-expression. They convey your values, interests, and personality to the world, all without uttering a single word. It’s a silent conversation with the world about your identity.
4. Stress and Clutter Reduction: A wardrobe thoughtfully curated with love contains fewer distractions. You are freed from the shackles of decision fatigue, and the clutter in your life significantly diminishes. No more unnecessary choices or an overflowing closet filled with items that rarely see the light of day.
Steps to Creating Your Beloved Wardrobe
Below are some experiences I’ve gathered from my own journey that I believe you might find useful. While shaping a ‘uniform’ wardrobe can be a fascinating process, I suggest you try it and create your unique formula.
- List and categorize occasions that require clothing for you to wear outdoors. Examples include work, sports, going out, traveling, and so on. Rank the frequency (or percentage) of each category.
- Open your closet and choose 10-15 items that you wear regularly and feel the most comfortable in (comfort being the key factor).
- On Pinterest, create a new board and search for clothing-related keywords. Start with broad terms like ‘women’s outfit,’ ‘smart casual,’ ‘spring outfit.’ Save images that you believe match your preferences to the newly created board. Pinterest’s suggestion feature is quite helpful, so over time, you’ll have a board filled with outfits you love.
- Find commonalities: Try looking back at the items you selected in steps 2 and 3. They should have some common threads; that’s your style or uniform. Try to reduce the total number of items in both steps to below. You should have the closest answer.
- Gradually update your wardrobe to match the style you’ve created. Start by eliminating items you never wear or haven’t touched in the last six months. When buying new items, consider questions like “Will I feel comfortable in this?” or “Would I buy the same thing if it got lost or damaged?”. Remember, quality over quantity, and if possible, research the company’s production ethics, source of materials… You’ll appreciate the clothing you wear even more.